State legislative special elections in Pennsylvania and South Carolina on Tuesday

On August 20, special general elections are scheduled for District 85 of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and District 19 of the South Carolina House of Representatives.
 
In Pennsylvania, Jennifer Rager-Kay (D) and David Rowe (R) are facing off for the District 85 seat.
 
  • Both candidates were selected by their respective political parties through nominating conventions in June.
  • The seat was vacated when Fred Keller (R) resigned on May 24, 2019. He was elected to Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District on May 21. Keller had served in the state House since 2011. He last won re-election in 2018, defeating Rager-Kay in the general election with 67.7% of the vote.
  • Heading into the election, Republicans have a 109-93 majority in the Pennsylvania House with one vacancy. Pennsylvania has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
 
In South Carolina, Carrie Counton (D) and Patrick Haddon (R) are running in the District 19 general election.
 
  • Haddon defeated a primary opponent in June. Counton ran unopposed in the primary.
  • The seat was vacated after Dwight Loftis (R) was elected to represent District 6 of the South Carolina State Senate. Loftis had served in the state House since 1996. He last won re-election in 2018, defeating Counton in the general election with 61.2% of the vote.
  • Heading into the election, Republicans have a 78-44 majority in the South Carolina House with two vacancies. South Carolina has a Republican state government trifecta.
 
Special primaries are also being held on Tuesday in District 42 of the Alabama House of Representatives and the Rockingham 9 District in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
 
As of August, 72 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 



About the author

Tyler King

Tyler King is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at tyler.king@ballotpedia.org

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